Australia’s wine production was up by 10 per cent to 1.31 billion litres in 2016– the highest since 2006. This was the result of higher than average yields combined with above-average juice extraction rates.
Red wine production increased by nearly 80 million litres (13 per cent) to 684 million litres, while production of white wine increased by just under 40 million litres (6.7 per cent) to 626 million litres.
Sales figures were very positive. In a domestic market that had been largely static since 2006–07, sales of Australian wine increased slightly in volume (2.5 per cent) and by a solid 6.9 per cent in value. Value growth is attributable to strong pricing growth as consumers trade up, as well as growth in cellar door sales, particularly for smaller winemakers. The total value of domestic sales increased by A$191 million to just under A$3 billion (based on winemaker receipts) while the volume increased by 11.5 million litres to 468 million litres.
A series of FTAs and a booming Asian region helped export sales increase. The value of Australian wine exports grew by 11 per cent to $2.1 billion, while volume increased by 0.5 per cent to 728 million litres in the 12 months to the end of June 2016. Growth was strongest for Australia’s most premium wines, which is reflected in the growth in average value.
Red wine performed better in both domestic and export markets. Reds grew by 4.5 and 4.4 per cent in each market respectively, while white wine grew by 0.6 per cent in the domestic market and declined by 4.1 per cent in export markets. Although export sales of white wine were down in 2016, they were still the third highest since 2005–16 and 12 million litres above the ten-year average. Australia’s export profile is more weighted towards reds than whites, with red wines (including rosé) accounting for 39 per cent of domestic sales and 58 per cent of export sales in 2015–16.
As a result of the large crush, inventory increased by 7 per cent overall in 2015–16. This was partially off-set by stronger sales. The stock of red wine increased by 6 per cent to 1.07 billion litres, while for white wines, stocks increased by 9 per cent to 689 million litres, the highest since 2005–06. Stock levels have been creeping higher over the last five years but remain well below levels recorded pre-2006. Higher stock levels can be a mixed blessing as they allow for higher sales but also require management to maintain pricing momentum.
Wine production, sales and inventory (historical)